Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Within the confines of any society, it is the stories told amongst its people which serve to define the roles its citizens will take. Cultural metaphors, historical experiences, controlling social discourse all feed into the socialization which guides relationships, laws and ultimately the minds of a country's members. The language spoken, the terms used, the measurements by which women are defined have historically and still today are too often held within the hands of men.

During Women's History Month, it does not go without notice that there is so little broadcast publicly about our gender, our strides, those atrocities which have been put upon us. I have scoured the newspapers in my community, the periodicals which I subscribe to and news programs to see what mention might be made of our month....only to be disappointed by the lack of coverage.

For this reason, it's imperative that we return to the days of storytelling amongst ourselves. That we make certain to listen to aging women in our community who have lived beyond generations when we were common chattel. To collect their histories not only in our minds, to secure a sense of appreciation for what they've given to us through struggles, but as well to preserve their histories in a feminine voice.

Too often the tales we do hear, the stories told to our daughters come intact with a masculine slant. The writers, the orators, the newscasters resonate with the airs of a man's frame of reference. And though it is good our lives are chronicled, who better to frame our minds, to feed into our definition of self than from another woman? I don't discount that a man can tell our history, rather that the history told won't have the same emotional intuition, the same strength of mirrored acknowledgment of shared experience if not in this feminine voice.

Our lives have largely been defined by the men who have told our stories. Power has been secured in societies where men have broadcast their strength, groomed the citizens with tales of male dominance and the need for female submission. And through this, many of our accomplishments have vanished within the minds of the women who knew, but did not tell, albeit often because they were not permitted to do so.

Certain narratives can only be secured if there is a desire to expound so as to uplift a people. We live in a society where now, finally, the time has arrived where we have a voice. We are finally free to tell, to write, free to poetically document our lives. Women's History Month may not have yet gained momentum, might not be recognized on a broad scale by media sources, but our voices should be heard.

I am inspired by both women I personally know and those I've come to be acquainted with on social networking sites who are raising their voices, using their art and their words to continue the matriarchal legacy of storytelling. But is it enough to write for self alone? Should we not be driven to chronicle our today so that our future will be complete with tangible tools of historical telling?

For this reason, I have began to journal the stories of women I encounter in my activist pursuits. It takes so few moments to give common women who have gone to extraordinary ends to stand against oppression and say in their feminine voice "I am here and you can not move me." And in doing so, I am surprised by the smiles I have been afforded, the hugs I've been given, as many times women have already self-defined their persons, waiting only for moment to arise when another woman is there to listen to what they have to say.

Who's story will you listen to, who's life will you chronicle, what daughter will you share our histories with in your words? What will you do to ensure that we will never again disappear between the lines of a masculine voiced history?


Spiky Zora Jones said...

I liked the post. The fight is really only begining. Women still have a great distance to go in the world.

"What will you do to ensure that we will never again disappear between the lines of a masculine voiced history?" When I think of women disappearing in a masculine voiced history 'The Bible' comes to mind. But that is another story...yes.

Ciao honey.

ree_cee said...

Our history is not documented honestly, our lives have historically not been chronicled in our voices. But we now are speaking out, giving our truths a feminine voice where once there was none. You are right, much needs to be done...but as long as we are not silenced, we will have hope it will be accomplished.

Thank you for reading and for your response. I apologize for not have more quickly responded, as I did not get an alert.

Vennie said...

I run a women's group here called Glitter Whores. We are over 80 members strong. Why do we call ourselves Glitter Whores? For one, We uphold the Sacred Whore who, before Christianity turned her into a bad person who sold sex, was actually the most revered woman in her village, beautiful, wise, kind, loving, and sexually free. Women are waking up one at a time, and if we can just touch each one as we pass with our Love Glitter, letting them know they are divine, beautiful and worthy, then we are inciting change and immortality.

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